Çiçek Pasaji (Flower Passage) is still one of the favorite venues of Beyoğlu, as much today as it was at the beginning of the last century. This is a passage that’s true to its name. So where does its name come from?
One of the destinations of Russians who escaped from the new regime after the toppling of Tsarist Russia in 1917 was Istanbul, and naturally Beyoğlu. Russians escaped and came here, but at the cost of leaving their whole wealth behind.
Daughters of families in dire straits took flower bouquets in their hands and went to Beyoğlu to win their bread. There were flowers in hands of flower-like girls… Needless to say, the Ottoman youngsters didn’t sit still. They twisted their moustache, made eyes, and winked at them. Young Russian girls took refuge at this passage to fend from these persistent Ottoman youngsters. After that time, the passage took this name.
“A courage worthy of sultans, better than in an exquisite charming woman
Your grip of the glass comes to my mind
In Çiçek Pasaji afternoons”
We don’t know if it was a Russian beauty who made Cemal Süreya write these lines, but you can still stop by Çiçek Pasaji, enjoy a glass of raki to the accompaniment of delicious side dishes, have flower bouquet handed to your table, present it to your loved ones, and if you’re interested in poetry, capture nice poems in your imagination.
Kaynak: Aydın Boysan, Acele Etme Çabuk Ol
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